It may only be one month into summer but for the shorebirds of North America fall migration has already begun. Some shorebirds reach their breeding ground early, breed, nest, rear their young and head to their wintering grounds before songbirds do.
The Great Salt Lake is in the Great Basin hub of the Pacific flyway and it isn’t unusual to see hundreds of thousands of shorebirds migrating through the area in both spring and fall and those are amazing to see, especially from the causeway to Antelope Island State Park. After several dry years we had a wet spring here with plenty of runoff from the mountains and the level of the lake is higher than it has been for some time and there is water close enough to the shoreline near the causeway to bring great views of the shorebirds fueling up for their long migrations.
I know how blessed I am to be able to see and photograph the spellbinding spectacle of thousands and thousands of Wilson’s Phalaropes lift off and take flight en masse and to see their murmurations over the Great Salt Lake. To watch them in person as the phalaropes fly over the water in undulating waves is indeed incredible to see. At times I have to take my eye away from the viewfinder so I can take the whole view in.
The phalaropes in my photo above were probably close to a mile away when I photographed them over the calm waters of the lake with the Promontory Mountains in the background. I wish I could have heard their wings but they were too far away.
It makes me realize just how hard we need to fight to prevent the Great Salt Lake from drying up because the birds need the resources the lake provides for them on their journeys.
Life is good.
I had two other photos I wanted to post today of a spider I photographed yesterday and a Mule Deer that was covered in spiderwebs plus a spider on her nose but I have been having some server issues that started to be a big problem while I was up in Idaho and Montana and until I can get those issues resolved I am limiting myself to one photo per post because posting more than one is causing a huge strain on the resources of my server. Readers may have noticed slow loading times and for that I apologize.